Church joins hands with military, police for caravan against vote buying, selling in Bohol

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CEBU CITY — An inter-agency collaborative team will be in Bohol province on Wednesday to launch the region-wide inter-agency collaborative effort to combat vote-buying and vote-selling.

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) Central Visayas Director Susan Villora told the Philippines News Agency (PNA) in an interview that the Philippine National Police (PNP), Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), and the Catholic Church in Bohol will spearhead the campaign in Region 7.

Around 300 personnel from the PNP, AFP, the Diocese of Tagbilaran, and other regional government offices in Central Visayas will be joining the one-day caravan that will start in Tagbilaran City, Bohol.

Other agencies that are expected to join are the Commission on Elections, Department of the Interior and Local Government, and the Department of Education.

“We have targeted at least five big towns in Bohol in this caravan. Participants will put up streamers in their vehicles with ‘No To Vote Buying, No To Vote Selling’ and travel to towns in a motorcade,” Villora said.

At the start of the conceptualization stage, the plan was to conduct a region-wide campaign against vote buying, Villoria said.

But when the team consulted Tagbilaran Bishop Alberto Uy on the effort, Villoria said that the latter suggested that campaign against vote selling be included in the collaborative effort to educate the voters about the evils of selling their votes to the candidates.

“President Duterte needs the support of all of the government agencies in this campaign. We will start it in Bohol and will soon conduct a motorcade in other provinces like Cebu,” the head of the intelligence coordinating body in the region said.

Since last year, the Chief Executive has been reiterating his assurance of clean conduct of the mid-term election.

“In this election, I commit to the Filipino people that this will be a clean election,” Duterte said in a speech last August of 2018 in Davao City.

The President also vowed to make sure that all corners of the country will be secured during the conduct of the balloting.

Earlier, Brig. Gen. Debold Sinas, Police Regional Office (PRO)-Region 7 director, said the region’s police force would make sure that vote-buying would not happen in the coming elections. (PNA)